Current Editors: Renat Ahatov, Michael Phan, and Andrea Francis

(Please email editors if there is blog-worthy news that you would like to see shared)

Past Editors: Elise Weisert, Michael Ryan, Keith Wagner, Tim Allen, Kristyna Gleghorn, Dung Mac, Alex Acosta, William Tausend, Sheila Jalalat, Rebecca Philips, Chelsea Altinger, Lindsey Hunter, Alison Wiesenthal, Leslie Scroggins, Mara Dacso, Ashley Group, Fadi Constantine, Emily Fridlington, Joslyn Witherspoon, Tasneem Poonawalla.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Seaweed Summer

Heavy seaweed on beaches continues to be a problem for beachgoers this spring. The Houston Chronicle continues to keep area residents informed about the abnormally abundant seaweed washing up on Galveston beaches this year: http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/bayarea/news/article/Seaweed-back-in-Galveston-for-holiday-weekend-5498959.php

UTMB PGY3 Dermatology Resident Honored with Thayer Award

Congratulations to UTMB PGY3 dermatology resident, Dr. Lindsey Hunter-Ellul for being honored by the UTMB John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine with the Thayer Award for Excellence in Teaching. Osler Student Scholars nominate residents who serve as excellent professional role models for them. It is well recognized that residents play a key role in the medical education of medical students. MS3 Jacqueline Posada nominated Dr. Hunter-Ellul for this honor. The UTMB DIG congratulates you for this excellent professional recognition!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What Dermatology Applicants Need to Know About Medicare Residency Funding

Most institutions sponsoring dermatology residencies receive funding from Medicare Part B for associated residency education costs. Medicare provides educational funding for residents based on the expected completion time for their first residency program. For primary care specialties such as pediatrics, internal medicine and family medicine, Medicare will fund three years of residency at 1.0 FTE levels. Medicare will also fund dermatology residency at 1.0 FTE for three years. However, if a resident starts or completes another residency prior to beginning dermatology residency, Medicare will reduce funding for the subsequent residency training to 0.5 FTE levels for part or all of the dermatology residency. That often leaves the dermatology residency program financially responsible for the remaining 0.5 FTE Medicare funding loss(es). That is why some institutions prohibit the selection of residents who have exceeded complete 1.0 FTE Medicare funding of their residency. In view of this reality, the best strategy for MS4s interested in a dermatology career is to exclusively apply for transitional or preliminary PGY1 years, since these PGY1 categories do not count against the full three year duration 1.0 FTE funding that Medicare provides for dermatology residencies. MS4s should also be aware that if they take a PGY1 transitional or preliminary year with internal medicine and then continue into a PGY2 year of that specialty, they have already used two years of their 1.0 FTE Medicare funding for internal medicine, and they may become less desirable to dermatology programs due to these funding issues (if they started dermatology residency after taking a PGY2 internal medicine year in , they will only receive one additional year of 1.0 FTE Medicare funding in dermatology residency, and during the last two years will receive 0.5 FTE Medicare funding).

For additional information please see Lori Mihalich-Levin’s well-researched document, “Medicare Payments for Graduate Medical Education:
What Every Medical Student, Resident, and Advisor Needs to Know,” http://www2.uic.edu/stud_orgs/prof/umsc/documents/medicaregme2013.pdf

Editorial Concern about Future Direction of Dermatology

An editorial published in the May 2014 issue of Dermatology Times (“The future of dermatology: a discipline of disease or aesthetics?”  Volume 35 , page 10) by editorial board member Dr. Norman Levine (private dermatology practice in Tucson, Arizona), comments on the growing trend of some dermatologists to place more emphasis on aesthetic patients than those with skin diseases. He wrote, “The most accomplished medical students are accepted into dermatology residency programs that provide them with outstanding educational opportunities. Once the three-year process is complete, the new dermatologists are free to forget much of what they learned about the complex processes of the skin and proceed to make their fortunes by injecting Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA, Allergan) and fillers.” In some cases (especially in areas remote from dermatology residency programs), Dr. Levine reports that patients with “complicated cutaneous autoimmune diseases” cannot find dermatologists in their communities who are willing to treat them, and they must rely on other physicians such as rheumatologists for their skin disease management.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

UTMB Graduate Medical Education Alters Residency Funding

In a wide reaching change, UTMB Graduate Medical Education (GME) has indicated that there will be changes in funding for new residents throughout the institution beginning in the 2015-2016 academic year. It is very important for UTMB MS4 medical students to understand these new rules, especially if they fail to initially match into a dermatology residency and plan reapplying. Starting in the 2015-2016 academic year, specific UTMB departments (rather than GME) will be required to fund residents who have exhausted their initial residency funding. Initial residency funding is determined by the type of specialty initially matched into by an applicant. For example, a person matching into a categorical internal medicine, family medicine, or pediatric residency will be given 3 years of funding because training is typically completed in three years for primary care residencies. If an applicant has already completed a residency in pediatrics, family medicine or internal medicine and then matches into a PGY2 dermatology position at UTMB, the UTMB dermatology department will be responsible for funding the second residency. Current yearly training and benefits for residents cost approximately $88,000 at UTMB. These financial considerations make the selection of “prior-residency” physicians much less likely in the future. A medical student who wishes to avoid using up a year of funding should take a transitional or preliminary PGY1 year. Another alternative for a medical student considering a dermatology residency would be to match into a general surgery residency for their PGY1 year, because since surgery is a 5 year residency program, there would still be 4 years of potential funding left if they were able to match into a dermatology residency later. UTMB’s GRE change is similar to existing policies at most other residency training programs across the United States.

Dr. Brandon Goodwin Accepts UTMB Dermatopathology Fellowship for 2015-2016 Academic Year

Congratulations to Dr. Brandon Goodwin, a current PGY3 UTMB dermatology resident for accepting a dermatopathology fellowship at UTMB for the 2015-2016 academic year. He will serve as the Chief Academic Dermatology Resident during his PGY4 year. UTMB DIG medical students look forward to working with you in the clinic and on the dermatopathology service.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Additional Insights About Dermatology Application Strategies During the 2014 NRMP

As previously posted, the NRMP recently released data about the 2014 Dermatology Residency Match. The most surprising is data found on Table 13 (Applicant Choices by Specialty, page 34) and Figure 6 (page 36). There were 414 dermatology positions offered through the 2014 NRMP when all types of positions are counted [PGY1 categorical dermatology starting in 2014 with dermatology usually integrated into PGY1 year, PGY2 advanced dermatology positions for 2015 following PGY1 year (the largest category of dermatology residency positions offered), and PGY2 positions that begin in July 2014 that typically require the PGY1 year to have been completed by July 1, 2014]. According to the published 2014 NRMP data, dermatology was the only choice for 88 US MS4 applicants, and the preferred choice (only choice and first choice combined) for 375 allopathic seniors. As might be expected, for independent applicants (all other applicants besides US MS4s), dermatology was the only choice for 105 applicants. For additional information, please see http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Main-Match-Results-and-Data-2014.pdf

Sunday, May 18, 2014

UTMB MS4 Will Tausend Publishes Research Paper about Psoriasis Treatments

Congratulations to UTMB DIG Vice President MS4 Will Tausend for his excellent and detailed paper about new psoriasis treatments that was recently published in the Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery (Tausend W, Downing C, Trying S. Systematic Review of Interleukin-12, Interleukin-17, and Interleukin-23 Pathway Inhibitors for the Treatment of Moderate-to-Severe Chronic Plaque Psoriasis: Ustekinumab, Briakinumab, Tildrakizumab, Guselkumab, Secukinumab, Ixekizumab, and Brodalumab. J Cutan Med Surg. 2014 May-Jun;18(3):156-69 ). The PMID number for this article is  PMID:  24800703. Will will be taking his PGY1 year in the Department of Internal Medicine at UTMB before beginning dermatology residency at UTMB In July 2015.

Congratulations to the new 2014-2015 DIG Officers!

We elected the new UTMB DIG officers for the 2014-2015 academic year during our meeting last week. There were an overwhelming amount of students interested in getting involved this year. Congratulations, everyone!

Alex Acosta, MS3

Vice President:
Mac Dung, MS2

Fundraising/AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk Co-Chairs:
Zachary Jones, MS3
Jasmine Stephens, MS2

Community Outreach Chair Positions:

Sun Protection/Skin Cancer Awareness Co-Chairs:
Hunter Neely, MS2
Skylar White, MS3
Kristyna Gleghorn, MS2
Kyle Kaltwasser, MS3
Greg Peterson, MS3

Contact Dermatitis Awareness Co-Chairs:
Alfreda Batts, MS2
Drew Decrescenzo, MS1

Psoriasis Awareness Co-Chairs:
Rachel Pellerin, MS3
Nadia Megahed, MS2

DIG@UTMB Blog Co-Editors: 
Alex Acosta (president) and Mac Dung (vice president)

New Officers- An email with further information about expectations and details about your position will be sent out soon. Congratulations and welcome to the UTMB DIG team!

Also, a special thank you to Dr. Jason Jones, UTMB Dermatology fourth year resident, for giving us an informative lecture on dermoscopy and how to diagnose pigmented lesion. It was great!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Dermatology in the 2014 NRMP Match

The National Residency Match Program (NRMP) has released data bout the 2014 match (see http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Main-Match-Results-and-Data-2014.pdf ).
380 PGY2 (first year of dermatology residency to begin in 2015) positions were offered in 2014 (page 8). 374 were filled through the NRMP. US MS4s matched into 334 of these positions, 23 were filled by other US medical school graduates, and additional positions were matched by osteopathic medical students (3), US international medical school graduates (4), and non-US international medical school graduates (10). 9.1% of US MS4s who only ranked dermatology programs failed to match into dermatology positions, but 61% of independent applicants who only ranked dermatology failed to match (page 36, figure 6). In 2014 dermatology residency programs needed to rank 3.6 applicants for each available PGY2 position in order to fill all positions. This is the same number number of applicants needed to fill all positions as last year (page 42).

UTMB Partners with Angleton Danbury Medical Center

Reporter Brittany Lamas (The Facts: Covering the Birthplace of Texas for 100 years, “Angleton Danbury Medical Center becoming part of UTMB system:
Hospital boards agree to partnership,” http://thefacts.com/news/article_11e05f47-09cc-53d9-8899-f67e11152870.html ) is reporting this new business relationship for UTMB.

UTMB Announces Dates for Outside Dermatology Residency Applicants in 2015

UTMB plans on interviewing its outside applicants on Thursday, January 22 and Friday, January 23 in 2015. Last year there were over 400 applicants to the UTMB dermatology residency program, and UTMB invited 30 outside applicants to interview. Invited applicants will select one of the two days to interview on a first come basis (15 interviews each day). Lunch will be scheduled with the current UTMB dermatology residents during the interview day. This year rotating medical students will not be automatically interviewed for residency positions. However, rotators with strong applications will be invited for interviews with other outside applicants. All internal UTMB dermatology applicants (medical students and house staff) will be scheduled for separate interviews in December 2014.

Dr. Bernard Gibson Elected to Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA)

The UTMB DIG sends out congratulations to Dr. Bernard Gibson, who was recently elected as a UTMB faculty member to UTMB’s Alpha Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA). He attended medical school at UCSF and completed dermatology residency at Baylor. Following a career in private practice, he joined the UTMB clinical dermatology faculty in 2005. Currently he is the Director of QA/QI. He currently sees dermatology patients at the UTMB clinics in Galveston and Bay Colony (League City, Texas).

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Congratulations Dr. Jarad Levin

UTMB DIG congratulates Dr. Jarad Levin who was recently selected for dermatology residency at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Levin served as UTMB DIG President and graduated from UTMB SOM in 2010 with magna cum laude dermatology research honors. He completed internal medicine residency at UTMB in 2013 and was elected into AOA as a resident member. Since that time has been on the UTMB internal medicine faculty.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Walk to Cure Psoriasis: A Success!

This past Saturday on May 10th UTMB Dermatology Interest Group participated in the Annual Walk to Cure Psoriasis in Houston, Tx.  For the event Dr. Tyring of Clear Lake created a competition between the Dermatology Interest Groups from UTMB, UT Houston and Baylor. UTMB DIG came in 2nd in the competition raising $125.00. Thank you to everyone who signed up and donated to our team. A special thank you to our DIG members, friends, and family for representing UTMB DIG at the event! 

                      Pictured: Alexandra Acosta, MS3 (left) and Racheal Pellerin, MS3 (right)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

REMINDER: DIG Meeting/Elections Tomorrow 5:30pm

The UTMB DIG will be holding the last meeting of the school year and elections on Wednesday May 14th in the Dermatology Conference Room (4.112 McCullough) at 5:30 PM.

If you plan to run for a position, please prepare a brief, informal speech discussing your involvement in the DIG as well as any ideas you may have for the upcoming academic year.
NOTE: If you are interested in running for a position but unable to attend the meeting, please contact szjalala@utmb.edu and you can still be on the voting ballot.

- President (1)
- Vice President (1)
- Fundraising/AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk Chairs (2)
- Community Outreach (4): includes...
- Head Community Outreach/Advertising Chair (1)
- Sun Protection/Skin Cancer Awareness Chair (1)
-Contact Dermatitis Awareness Chair (1)
- Psoriasis Awareness Chair (1)

Dr. Jason Jones, UTMB Dermatology fourth year resident, will also present a brief lecture on dermoscopy and how to diagnose pigmented lesions.

UTMB Annual Free Skin Cancer Screening in Galveston a Success

On Saturday, May 10, 2014 UTMB dermatology residents and faculty provided free skin cancer screenings at the UTMB Stewart Road Dermatology Clinic. Thank you for volunteering your time for this valuable community service!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Does Demonstrated Successful Teamwork Play a Role in Dermatology Resident Selection?

Residency programs in dermatology often consider applicant “fit” into the existing program. One component of “fit” is workplace engagement. Is the applicant able to demonstrate prior teamwork experiences that enhanced their previous organization? Business managers say that employee engagement is a critical ingredient for success [Baldwin L. Employee engagement: a key success factor in the workplace. Practical Dermatology 2014;11(4):18.] Author Laura Baldwin lists 6 characteristics of engaged employees in her recent article: “strong belief in the organization,” “desire to contribute and make things better,” “demonstrate respectfulness and helpfulness to peers,” “willing to go ‘the extra mile’, ” “problem-solving attitude,” and “actively supports organizational leadership.” This sounds like a good dermatology residency program too!

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Offers Dermatology Resident Scholarships

Dermatology residents interested in attending the 2014 annual American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) meeting (November 6-9, San Diego, California) are encouraged to apply to the ASDS for a travel scholarship. The ASDS will award $750 to the first 266 dermatology applicants. The scholarship application is available at :  https://www.asds.net/annualmeeting/ This is the second biggest US dermatology meeting and emphasis is on all things related to dermatologic surgery and procedures.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

UTMB Dermatology Presents Three Posters at Spring 2014 Texas Dermatological Society Meeting

UTMB dermatology residents, medical students and faculty presented three posters at the 2014 Spring meeting of the Texas Dermatological Society in Fort Worth. The poster presentations were:

Generalized Hypopigmentation Associated with Imatinib Therapy. Lindsey Hunter-Ellul, M.D., Jacqueline Posada (MSIII UTMB), Sri Obulareddy, M.D. (UTMB Internal Medicine PGY3), and Brent Kelly, M.D.

A Case of Pediatric Keratosis Lichenoides Chronica. Rebecca Philips, M.D., Adrian Subrt (MSIV UTMB), Megan Moody Neill, M.D.

"Things aren't always as they seem" -- A Challenging Case of Subcutaneous Panniculitis like T-Cell Lymphoma (SPTCL). Brandon Goodwin, M.D., Jacqueline Posada (MSIII UTMB), Brent Kelly, M.D.

Congratulations to all of our UTMB posters for representing UTMB Dermatology so well at this successful meeting!

Dermatology at the 2014 National Student Research Forum

On April 24th and 25th of 2014, UTMB hosted the 55th annual National Student Research Forum. Over 200 students from graduate and medical schools across the United States and Canada came to Galveston to present their research. Juan Sosa was awarded the best dermatology poster award this year.   A total of three Dermatology related research posters were presented at this year’s conference. The posters were:

-Joseph Babcock (Florida State University), “A Splinted Excisional Full-Thickness Wound Model for Evaluation of Therapeutic Efficacy in the Treatment of Non-healing Diabetic Wounds.” Coauthors included Dr. Michael Blaber, Dr. Kathleen Harper, and Ms. Sachiko Blaber.

-Juan Sosa (University of Texas Southwestern-Dallas), “Confetti Depigmentation as a Sign of Rapidly Progressing Vitiligo.” Coauthors included Mr. Sharif Currimbhoy, Ms. Samantha Sirignano, Mr. Ryan O’Leary, and Dr. Amit Pandya.

-Kevin Sharghi (UTMB), “Effective Skin Cancer Education, Outreach, and Screening in Central Texas.” Coauthors included Dr. Ammar Ahmed, Dr. Jason Reichenberg, and Nurse Dawn Parsons (all associated with the University of Texas Southwestern-Austin).

The event will be hosted again next April. For more information about the forum, please to go http://www.utmb.edu/nsrf/

DIG Officer Elections and Last Meeting of the Year: May 14th

The UTMB DIG will be holding the last meeting of the school year and elections on Wednesday May 14th in the Dermatology Conference Room (4.112 McCullough) at 5:30 PM.

If you plan to run for a position, please prepare a brief, informal speech discussing your involvement in the DIG as well as any ideas you may have for the upcoming academic year.
NOTE: If you are interested in running for a position but unable to attend the meeting, please contact szjalala@utmb.edu and you can still be on the voting ballot.

- President (1)
- Vice President (1)
- Fundraising/AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk Chairs (2)
- Community Outreach (4): includes...
- Head Community Outreach/Advertising Chair (1)
- Sun Protection/Skin Cancer Awareness Chair (1)
-Contact Dermatitis Awareness Chair (1)
- Psoriasis Awareness Chair (1)

Dr. Jason Jones, UTMB Dermatology fourth year resident, will also present a brief lecture on dermoscopy and how to diagnose pigmented lesions.

UTMB Dermatology Interest Group has made a team for the Walk to Cure Psoriasis fundraiser in Houston on May 10th. In addition, UTMB DIG is participating in a friendly "challenge" against the Dermatology Interest Groups at UT-Houston and Baylor. The psoriasis foundation will be giving a prize to whichever group that raises the most money for the organization. 

Please register and donate at the link below. 

Please email Psoriasis Awareness Chair, Zachary Jones MSIII, at zjjones@utmb.edu if you would like to participate.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

New Checklist Dermatology Letter of Recommendation for Dermatology Residency Applicants

Some dermatology residency programs currently may have difficulty evaluating applicants for dermatology residency from the submitted recommendation letters. In response, the Association of Professors of Dermatology (APD) is creating a standardized checklist for recommendation letters. This type of letter will contain an applicant assessment tool that will rate applicants in 9 categories as well as provide a global assessment of the candidate. Raters will be able to indicate if the applicant is below average, average, above average, excellent (top 15%), outstanding (top 5%), “best this year,” or “best in 10 years.” Letter writers are not prohibited from submitting traditional letters of recommendations, but in view of these new APD standardized checklist definitions, traditional letter writers may have to choose their words very carefully! An added benefit is that faculty members from the same institution who typically provide letters of recommendation to multiple applicants each year will only be able to check the “best this year” and “best in 10 years” box only once each application cycle!

Favorable Press for UTMB

Both the Houston Chronicle (Rice H. UTMB Panel: Harassment cases handled properly. Committee chosen by the president says payment of $200,000 to each of two complainants was a good business decision. Houston Chronicle, Saturday, May 3, 2014, pages B1 and B5) and the Galveston County Daily News (Elder L. Panel Clears UTMB. Report: Medical branch doesn’t have a culture of sexual harassment. Galveston County Daily News. Saturday, May 3, 2014, pages A1 and A5) have reported on the findings of UTMB’s blue ribbon investigative panel that was released last week.

Former UTMB Dermatology Resident Discusses Work/Life Balance

Dr. N. Nosrati, a 2012 graduate of the UTMB Dermatology Residency Program, met with our current UTMB residents on May 6, 2014 to talk about how to evaluate job opportunities. She took her first job in Dallas while her husband completed residency there, and has now moved back to Houston where she found another practice opportunity. Currently there are more attractive dermatology practice opportunities than there are available dermatologists, so it is still a “buyer’s market.” However, all jobs are not the same, and knowing what your priorities are and the ability to negotiate for them in a new potential workplace are invaluable! Thank you Dr. Nosrati for sharing your insights with us!